WhatsApp Is Building A Local Team In India To Tackle Fake News But Govt Isn't Convinced

Fake news circulated on WhatsApp has triggered dozens of mob lynchings across India.

In its yet another attempt to curb fake news circulation on its platform, WhatsApp has told Indian government that it’s building a local team, which will be headed by an Indian, to ensure a check on the flow of unverified news and videos, a PTI report said.

However, the move hasn’t impressed the government stating that “the measures do not meet the government’s expectations on ‘traceability’ and attribution of such messages.”

The measure comprises WhatsApp’s response to the IT Ministry’s last notice, which had asked that the platform cannot escape its responsibility abuse in case of fake news. The notice had also asked it to find originators of provocative messages.

Representational Image | Source: InUth

However, company officials said message attributions would “undermine the private nature” of the platform, and leave it vulnerable potentially to “serious misuse.”

“Attributing messages on WhatsApp would undermine the private nature of WhatsApp and create the potential for serious misuse. Our focus is on improving WhatsApp and working closely with others in society to help keep people safe,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said.

The latest announcement from the instant messaging service comes in the wake of dozens of mob lynching incidents fuelled by rumours on WhatsApp.

Earlier, WhatsApp introduced a new feature to let its users identify the forwarded messages, restricted number of forwards at a time, and brought out full-page ads giving “easy tips” to spot fake news, the PTI report added.